A mildly driven passion

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We like our winters mild since most of us want to avoid a harsh winter.

But to be mild mannered person seems to suggest one without passion. Clark Kent appeared mild mannered just to avoid attention. Would anyone follow a mild-mannered leader into a dramatic corporate restructuring? Into battle?

Some of us like our tacos mild, but give me personal passion anyday. That’s why I admire Americans. So long as no one gets hurt, I admire how they can be truly passionate about whatever it is they are passionate about.

Finding at least one thing you are passionate about can put you in touch with your humanity.

Mild

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A Wandering Mind

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This is not the same as losing one’s mind since I roughly know where it is when it managed to untether itself. I get texts from it every now and then, and its credit card statements keep appearing. If I arranged a personal line of credit for it, then who knows where it might end up. I doubt I would see it again.

A wandering spirit sounds like a good thing to have. If you have a wandering mind, then that suggests you have a lack of concentration. Or perhaps better, the whatever is going on in front of me does not require that much concentration.

Any particular thought can bring in a range of associative thoughts. A good analogy may be a mind like the holiday tree decorations. The entire tree may be completely dark, but the moment you flick a switch, then everything comes alive. So I seem to focus away from the finger flipping the switch, being what everyone else is focusing on, over instead to the various lights illuminating the tree.

The connection may not be immediately obvious to anyone else, but I can see the holiday tree being lit up in my mind continually.

Happy Holidays!

 

Communal Contracts

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The need for communal living resides deep within the bone. Societies form together for survival, protection, friendship and a host of other reasons.

Continuing societies form a type of social communal contract to exist together. At one point or another, this contract breaks down and the society ceases to exist. Some societies disband, some are wiped out. Over the past thousands of years we can see societies that have come and gone.

We are now entering the global community through social media. For good or bad. With the advent of Russian interference, we can see how a little bit of fakery can spin things out of control. Some groups become even more polarized based on false indignation.

Perhaps the new Paris Agreement for climate change might help create a new global contract. The US shall likely have to come into to the fold after a while. Otherwise it will be left behind in the old economy while other countries proceed more towards a futuristic direction.

Pulling together as global society must become our new vision forward for a new communal contract.

 

 

 

 

Communal

Zen Work

pexels-photo-374897When mediating at your desk in an open office concept causes the stress the mediation is attempting to alleviate, then I suggest the eight manila folder path of work Buddhism.

  1. Right vision of the nature of reality. Unless you have managed to follow your bliss, work will continue to be ‘work’. Life was not meant to be painless. Accepting this gives you control.

 

  1. Right attitude. Using your emotional intelligence to understand that some co-workers may be jerks and may continue to be that way. Learn the work arounds.

 

  1. Right speech. Speak truth to power. Understand there are other perspectives and respect them. Just don’t turn your back to them.

 

  1. Right Action. Be ethical in all your dealings. Don’t be the jerk noted in 2 above.

 

  1. Right livelihood. This follows the principal of non-exploitation. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Refer to item 4 for further elaboration.

 

  1. Right effort. A path of wholeness. A Conscious evolution. Even if you don’t understand how your work matters, it matters to someone. Even if it’s eventually just yourself. Be the best of what you do.

 

  1. Right mindfulness. Train yourself to fully aware of things, oneself, feelings and reality. Become fully aware of all the great things you are doing. It all matters. Be mindful of the jerks in 2, but don’t lease any more space in your mind to them.

 

  1. Right focus. Literally to be on a single object. If you think you are good at multitasking, go back to 1 and just accept you aren’t.

 

Being clear minded on all things allows the stressors to drop off and the Zen emerges.

That’s torn it!

pexels-photo-14303That’s torn it would be the polite english verision of FUBAR (F**ked up beyond all repair).

These sayings mainly apply to things outside of ourselves. Fortunately, we have physical, mental and spirtual healing powers.

We are never completely Torn.

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/torn/”>Torn</a&gt;

A Miraculous Miracle

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The origin of life continues to amaze me. Even if we have created the simplest building blocks of life in a test tube, these only constitute basic amino acids. Making the leap to proteins and simple cell creatures from these basic particles would be similar to continually blowing up a pile of bricks and trying to make a house. Yes, perhaps an infinite amount of time might get you there, but even infinity would not be long enough based on probability.

Divine intervention? Not sure about that.

Finding even the crudest form of life on another planet would prove that given enough time, life happens.

 

Miraculous

Ethical Dementia-the drifting moral compass, some guidelines and aliens.

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Sometimes people encounter a dilemma and they pretend to have dementia. They forget about the right thing to do.

Decades ago, we had this negotiation seminar held with another company. We split into six groups and did this prisoner’s dilemma test involving a share purchase. If all the groups co-operated in this fictitious share purchase, then we would all partially benefit in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. But if only one group acted in opposition, then all of the benefit would go to that group and they would be unjustly enriched by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other groups would get nothing. So of course the first five groups all co-operated, but by the time the six group revealed their decision, they went in opposition to the other five groups. The sixth group won the challenge and went home with all of the bragging rights and the fake money.

Now, this seems all fine and dandy if they actually had won millions and could retire from life. But they didn’t, and they couldn’t. We all returned to our work the following week. Unfortunately, and not my proudest moment, this colored my interaction with this one manager on the sixth team that had done me wrong, along with the rest of people. So, apparently, once people show me who they are, I tend to believe them.

A number of times when speaking to accountants, in a more relaxed setting, they tsk tsk the poor lawyer or accountant that got nabbed for stealing $40,000 or $50,000.  They always boast they would never steal that amount of money. They would wait for the big deal, and go for a few million.  Not to generalize, but it always the guys that seem to say this, but my sample size is small. Is this just bravado, financial locker room talk so to speak? “When you are a star lawyer, you can do whatever you want. Grab em by their proxies” for example?

Do you have a figure (financial, not body) that would tempt you? If so, you may wish to rethink the value statement that holds you together.

As for myself, I seem to have developed an unusual value statement for situations like this. I could never see myself taking anything from an employer or trusting client. I value my freedom far too much. I would never trade my right to go into any fast food joint of my choosing at any time. If I feared being apprehended at any time, that potential joy would be lost.

This always seems odd to me since I have not voluntarily gone to any fast food place for at least 40 years. There were the times I had to when  my kids were growing up. Then you have no choice since any opium den will do. Society frowns on you when you feed your children cough syrup so you can rest. But if you take them for a greasy flat burger and sodden fries, well then you are the greatest dad in the world according to your kids and the commercials.

The first ethical problem for most people appears to be recognizing there is a problem. You should ask yourself if a situation or decision could be damaging to someone or to some group. Is there a choice between a good and a bad alternative such as you see in the plot of a superficial science fiction movie? Or perhaps you have a choice between two bads such as you find in one of your darker dramatic comedies perhaps?

As the complexity increases, unless you’re trained in ethics (like a lawyer), or unless you encounter more ethical   dilemmas than most people (a religious advisor) then you really need a framework to analyze these situations. Having a great framework does not help much if you simply don’t care. It seems that lawyers and religious advisors get into ethically tough (ie criminal) spots quite often. So knowing ethics is not the same thing as practicing ethics. I am sure that ethic professors in university get into trouble too, but the media simply does not care.

Getting all of the fact surrounding an issue would be the next thing to do, right after recognizing that you have something to do. This includes finding out who might be impacted by your decision. Consulting with this group may identify some creative options.

When dealing with an ethical issue, once you have all the facts, you should evaluate the alternative options. One way is the Utilitarian approach. Which option will produce the most good and the least harm?

Let’s take the example of a science fiction movie and a spaceship of aliens arrive in your yard. They look friendly enough. Big eyes, big tongues, long shaggy ears and a mouth that curves up in smile loaded with lots of white gleaming teeth. They all have black, cold noses. Very golden retriever looking. They say they can provide you with a new vaccine that could save thousands of people from a nasty influenza virus. But in exchange, they want your cat. Actually they want a lot of cats. At the mention of this the antennae on top of their helmet wags quickly side to side.

Usually a science fiction example is extremely forced to become unbelievable, but you are faced with a simple choice. The most good obviously means saving the most people, but that one evil act seems to taint everything. This always leaves the decision maker on the horns of a dilemma. There only seems to be two options. Both unpalatable. But in most science fiction stories we wait until the very end when a third option finally become available that saves the people and the cat(s). Just as well since no one really wants to see a negative for either option. The non-cat people may have a different opinion mind you, but that’s another discussion.

The Rights approach looks for the option that best respects the rights of all those who have a stake. Here we are looking at a more complex situation where a number of groups have a say, and ultimately everyone is going to have to give a bit in order to get along. Here the drama becomes so subtle that it doesn’t make for good movie material. Not even the straight to video downgrade. Back when straight to video actually meant something. We would have to ask the cats their opinion on the topic. There only seems to be a downside for them. The Aliens don’t really have any rights to speak of and the other people do not necessarily a have a right to a vaccine which does not yet exist. So the no-go solution seems to be obvious.

The justice approach treats people equally or at least proportionally. Now here, a lot more people would be relieved in not getting sick at a cost of only a few cats. But the cats are seemingly paying a higher price. So they are given a higher weighting when it comes to balancing off the two groups. Once again, the price remains too high from the cat perspective. And again, the Aliens do not have any rights in this approach.

The Common good approach looks at the option that best serves the community as a whole and not just some members. Once again, the community would likely be aghast at giving away a community of cats for the benefit of a smaller group that may have gotten ill. So again, we have a no-go situation.

Finally, you could examine the virtue approach which leads you to act as the sort of person you want to be. Now, this does leave room for someone to be a complete jerk, and this seems to happen more than what you would think. Personally, I could not see myself making anything suffer just so others may benefit. So we could say that the cats are saved, but the default approach should be that they would not be at risk in the first place.

You tell the Aliens that they can’t have your cat or any others. The Aliens might be sad, but their faces have this perpetual golden retriever smile. You aren’t sure how they feel, except that their antennae looks droopy.

Finally, you should examine the results of your ethical solution, and you should examine yourself. An unexamined life means that you just haven’t gotten around to it yet.